Coventrys Belgrade Theatre has received a significant increase in its
annual grant from West Midlands Arts. The annual grant, fixed since 1994, has been
uplifted by almost 11 % from £465,000 to £515,000, and reflects the decision taken by
the Department of Culture, Media and Sport to increase to level of Treasury funds made
available to the arts through the regional arts funding system.
The uplift in funding addresses what West Midlands Arts Chief Executive Sally
Luton describes as "inflation erosion" demonstrated by stand-still grants since
1994. It also enables greater levels of artistic investment for The Belgrade in priority
areas. These include home produced work, upon which the theatres artistic policy
lies, and increases in education and work with young people.
The theatre, which has seen a major turnaround in audience support since 1995 and
record breaking attendances, has just announced its Spring 1999 season of work which again
demonstrates a commitment to its role as a producing theatre and one that has a close
relationship with its audience. The uplift in funding from West Midlands Arts provides
necessary investment potential without the fear or eroding working budgets so often
created by stand-still funding.
Simon Daykin, Head of Marketing at The Belgrade, said today,
"The increase in funding is another massive vote of confidence in The Belgrade
Theatre as a major contributor to the artistic and cultural life of the area. It enables
well needed investment in the things which matter to the theatre the provision of
excellent quality work for everyone to enjoy and be part of."